By Amelle Caron and Lariena Nokes

College is about meeting people and making connections. A fun way to do this is joining a club.

The HCC Activities Fair took place in the Student Union foyer Sept. 1 and 2, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. each day.

Crowds of students came to see what clubs were on campus for the new school year.

Free donuts greeted morning visitors, while afternoon visitors enjoyed nachos, cookies, and fruit punch.

Each club had a stand where they put posters with pictures of their previous year’s events and activities with the club.

At the Skills USA table, Ian Russell, Hutchinson, played HALO Reach, a first-person shooter game, after the class he had visited the activities fair with had left.

“I am thinking about joining this club,” Russell said.

The Kiwanis Circle K International, or CKI Club, had anb exhibit.

The club helps people around town and meets every week to talk about providing services for the community, college campus and the world.

They also meet to do some group activities like volleyball.

Every year the Kiwanis have a conference with people from all around the world. Katy Spencer, a club member at the activities fair, said the conference is “a lot of fun.”

“I got to go to Indiana last year,” Spencer said. “We did community projects and we had time to visit and walk around the city.” This year’s conference will take place in Toronto, Canada.

Other clubs were part of the activities fair like SPARK, which is a Christian club that meets every week to have a good time in a friendly atmosphere.

They meet every Thursday night in the Student Union basement.

They also like to have some activities group such as ultimate Frisbee. D. J. Smalls has been a student at HCC since the Spring 2015.

He joined the SPARK club and his opinion on it is, “It’s not a regular church Christian group. We exchange ideas and just have a great time.”

Dana Hinshaw, director of student life and a student activities sponsor, said the clubs are a fine way to make connections. “Students get to exchange ideas with each other and really bond with their classmates,” she said.

Hinshaw sponsors both CKI and the Gay-Straight Alliance club.

She is part of the Kiwianis here in Hutchinson and started the campus CKI club with some involved students.

“It gives the students an experience and they can add the club they join in their future job applications.”

As a sponsor, Hinshaw helps the students reach their goals as a group.

She also tries to be there for the meetings so she can take notes and help the students in their activities.

The clubs are created by the students, teachers or community organizations that come to her office with the idea to create a club.

“Here at HCC we try to make sure that there are enough clubs in our school, because I think it is a big part of our college. It brings people together.”

Many students enjoyed the HCC Chess Club’s mega chess — set outside the student union during the activities fair — and played games of chess in the sunshine.

Duane Schmidt, the club’s sponsor — along with Gabriel Purdy, Oxford, a certified titled chess expert and HCC student — are looking forward to the fellowship of the chess club.

Activities will include introducing a chess program to local high schools, a chess simultaneous-playing exhibition and a blitz tournament at the Kansas State Fair.

During the activities fair, hundreds of people came to the Student Union to sign up and join the various clubs.

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